Global Resilience Solutions > Category:longevity anti aging

Putting it All Together!

In the coming weeks, we’ll be reintroducing the Resilient Life Code, a course that will bring together all the aspects of personal resilience we’ve talked about.  It’s easy to spend your life reading up on health, mindset, spirituality, energy work and so forth without finding any coherent body of information that will show you how they all fit together.  Finally you’ll have access to that indispensable information.


Dualism- How We Forgot

One thing that all ancient traditions have in common is the unity of all of these elements within their spiritual disciplines, elements which we far too often treat as isolated areas of concern.  In my opinion, this traces back to Western culture’s fundamental dualism- the mind and the body are placed in fundamental opposition.

One symptom of this trend historically has been the complete misunderstanding within Western Christianity of its own “external” practices- fasting, use of images, genuflection, holy water, holy oil, incense, all of the elements that Protestantism discarded as meaningless ritual- which it had, in fact, largely become.  If you grew up in a Protestant country, chances are you’ve absorbed some of Protestantism’s disgust for these “primitive,” “superstitious” practices in one form or another.

People like to make rules to replace authentic traditions- following rules, after all, is easier than struggling to transform the human person- and the “externals” are easy fodder for this sort of thing, as I am painfully aware from my own church background.  But the fundamental superstition here is not that the externals affect us internally, but that they don’t.  The body and the mind are one organism, and you simply can’t make progress in personal resilience without using each to change the state of the other.


The Full Picture

I cannot think of a single authentic tradition that does not control diet, for example, in one form or another.  From Buddhist vegetarianism to the extensive corpus of Taoist dietary advice to the fasting practiced by many faiths globally, the question is not how to alter the diet, but in what way.  This was certainly the approach of early Christianity.  They had no question that fasting could help them to put their body-mind organism in a state more receptive to the presence of God.  The only question was what it would look like.  We have the evidence to show the vastly different dietary practices they experimented with, some of which still coexist today.  The distortion occurs when this becomes an external rule or a mortification of the flesh rather than an activity with an internal purpose.

The struggle to develop our full potential as human beings is aided or hindered by the full picture of our daily life.  What is the first thing you do in the morning?  What do you think about during the day?  How do you feel?  What is your body’s physical condition?  What do you see, hear, smell, taste, touch in the course of your day?  What energetic input are you getting from the people around you?  What material are you feeding your mind with, and how does it affect you on a deeper level?  How do you respond to conflict, to stress?  All of these questions become critically important to create the conditions in which you will find it easier to flourish in the long term.


Full Immersion

Ancient traditions understood this, and that’s why so many of them embraced the most radical of solutions.  The seeker leaves his old life behind, all the possessions, friends and family, career prospects, expectations that he has ever known.  In short, he breaks every old habit, every old input except what is in his head.  Perhaps more importantly, he gives himself no alternative but total belief.  He finds a master to teach him, and slowly, he begins to rebuild himself in a new setting.  His diet, exercise, work, reading, acquaintances, surroundings are all deliberate.  His inner life begins to change as he is taught to face his own inner obstacles and transmute them.  His physical body begins to change, and his consciousness with it.

This is hardly possible for everyone, and such an approach can be quite dangerous if you don’t know what to look for.  But it is important for us, living in a disjointed and materialistic society, to understand why things were done in this holistic way.

Imagine, for a moment, a nation somewhere in the world that had dedicated itself to finding the best possible way for every human being to reach their own unique potential in everything they do, everything they are, and to realize the divine imprint within their being.  Imagine that for centuries, this nation had absorbed seekers from all nations with all of their many gifts and perspectives, considered many ways of life, and from these tried to create, not a consensus, but a way of life that reflected and facilitated that common endeavor in every facet of this society, that gave everyone scope and encouragement to find and develop their own unique talent and potential.

What might such a society look like?  We can’t know, but that’s the point- it doesn’t exist.  The next best thing for us is to become more conscious in how we live our own lives, to reclaim control of our inner state one piece at a time by understanding what affects that state.  Our purpose going forward with the Resilient Life Code is to bring together all the pieces of the puzzle in a synergistic way, to show how they intersect and how to put it all together.

More on this is coming your way very soon…

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Understand the Diet Fads: A Reasoned Approach to Nutritional Resilience


Eat what cave-men ate.  Eat local.  Eat raw.  Cut out carbs.  We live in an era of unlimited dietary choice, and every magazine promises the perfect recipe for a healthy diet.  If, like most people, you have trouble making heads or tails of the dietary fads in circulation, this is the post for you.  We’ll review the principles behind a few of the current favourites and what they’re designed to achieve… and then we’ll give you some tips on a balanced plan to reach your dietary goals.


The Ancestral Diet

The Paleo Diet, raw food diets and, to an extent, the Eat Local movement all follow a sort of dietary regression to what (they think) our ancestors ate at a certain time period.  Thus the question, what did our ancestors eat, and was it really healthier?

Well, that’s a loaded question, because people in different climates have always eaten different diets.  The Inuit of northern Canada have such an ancestral history of subsisting on meat protein that it is difficult if not impossible for most of them to adapt to anything else.  Arctic explorers similarly found that a high-fat high-protein diet was essential to maintain energy in that environment.

The diets of peoples living a little farther south, including my Celtic ancestors, ate diets rich in both protein and carbohydrates (no, not as rich or the same kinds as the standard Western diet now) as a hedge against winter scarcity.  When the US Army found itself fighting in tropical climates in World War II, it discovered that its soldiers rapidly fell prey to vitamin deficiency on rations intended for temperate climates.  After the war, American food was introduced to tropical Hawaii on a wide scale, causing an ongoing obesity epidemic.  This is one argument in favour of Eat Local as a dietary principle: you are better off (with some big caveats) eating what people in your climactic area historically ate, in the seasons in which they ate them.

Eat Local, however, is mainly a political movement against the current global food system, and, laudable as it is, it requires at the very least some readjustment of expectations to work well, and preferably an understanding of when to give in.  Every climate zone has its particular nutritional deficiencies, and it’s best to find out what they are before you start.

Paleo and raw food diets both refer back to our hunter-gatherer prehistory, albeit not always accurately.  Likewise, low-carb, high-protein diets like Atkins and South Beach tend to refer back to this primordial period as evidence that humans were built to eat protein more than carbohydrates.


A History of Carbs

Unless your ancestors lived in the far north, it is very likely that most of their staple foods were starches, not protein, even before the advent of large-scale farming.  This is the “gathering” part of hunter-gathering.  Gathering was generally the specialty of women.  If your prehistoric ancestors lived in Britain, they probably depended on foods like acorns, grass seeds, nuts, berries and cattail roots as their major sources of energy.  For indigenous peoples living in the Amazon today, the staples include tapioca bread and heart of palm.  For the hunters, being able to find carbohydrates to sustain them on the hunt was and is a valuable skill.  The fact is that there was no time in history when the majority of the human population subsisted primarily on protein.  Those who did so without a climate-based necessity did so for social reasons (“plants are poor people’s food”), as in medieval Europe and some North American aboriginal groups.

This is why low-carb diets fall down, particularly when used for more than short-term weight loss.  Long-term dependence on animal protein for energy is very taxing to digestive systems that weren’t designed for it, and if the meat in question isn’t organic, you’re inviting health problems down the road.

 However, the Paleo Diet does have a point in that grains were a small component of the hunter-gatherer diet relative to roots, nuts, pulses and fruits.  This is where gluten-free diets come in. 


Gluten intolerance or gluten allergy is acknowledged to affect about one in thirty-three people in at-risk populations, but in truth this is only the most severe manifestation of gluten-caused digestive disorder.  Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley among other grains, is the substance that makes your pastry and your bread dough stick together.  It also interferes with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and promotes constipation.

Undigested gluten causes your immune system to attack your intestines.  Over time, gluten causes a number of nutrient deficiencies, unpleasant physical symptoms and degenerative effects.  Gluten allergy is simply the most pronounced level of your body’s revolt against this interloper.

Research has shown that gluten-intolerance is on the rise relative to past generations, partly because we have created varieties of grain with much higher gluten content, and partly because of the use of high-gluten white flour and the decline of whole-grain and mixed-grain flours.  If you do have the symptoms of gluten allergy, looking at a gluten-free diet is probably a good idea, but reducing grain consumption, and moving to whole grains when you do eat grains, is recommended for everyone.

This is where the Mediterranean Diet fails in the modern world, as all European Mediterranean cultures depend heavily on bread, and have throughout recorded history.  A Roman legion once mutinied because it was given too much meat and too little bread.  ‘Too little’ was a loaf a day!


“Our Ancestors Ate Raw and Didn’t Process their Food”

Believe it or not, humans have had fire for awhile.  The kernel of truth in the raw food and whole food movements is that there are nutrients, particularly in vegetables but also in meat, that are lost when exposed to heat or otherwise processed.  This is a good reason to eat raw fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.

However, a healthy diet does not have to mean an exclusively raw diet- Indian cuisine cooks a great deal of its food, but can still be extremely healthy in its native forms.  Even hunter-gatherers cook their meat, and they processed it to last into the future, just as they processed starch and fruit.  “Processed” doesn’t automatically mean bad.  A number of world staple foods like tapioca root are actually poisonous before processing.  The preserved foods of our ancestors may have fewer nutrients than the fresh variety, but they also last longer.  Pickles, preserves and dried foods allowed fruit and vegetable nutrients to be extended through the winter.  Dried and smoked meat allowed a perishable resource to be extended for weeks or months.  What these methods lack are the chemical preservatives, pasteurization an irradiation that make modern methods of preservation so pernicious. 

So long as you reduce your dependence on packaged foods and increase your raw produce intake, there’s no reason why a cooked meal is bad for you unless you put something bad in it.



Low-fat diets were all the rage a few decades ago, but the truth is that it matters more what kinds of fats you eat than whether you eat them (and your body does need them).  Historically, most diets around the world have incorporated a significant fat component, whether it was coconut or yak butter or, in much of North America, just plain animal fat.

The low-carb diets do have a point- most of your body’s stored fat is unused carbohydrate being saved up for famine or winter, rather than anything you ingested as fat.  What matters is that you have the right Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance (which means giving up vegetable oil and incorporating Omega-3 sources into your diet), that you avoid transfats and reduce animal fat sources, particularly non-organic ones.  We discussed this last week, so we’ll move along.



Vegetarianism or veganism is a dietary choice that in and of itself could mean anything health-wise.  Many people adopt these lifestyles for moral or religious reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with that, provided you do it right.  It is true that many people are predisposed to eat meat, and some will suffer malnutrition without it regardless of substitutes, morally inconvenient as that might be.  There are many people who can successfully live on these diets, but the key question is how.  If you make up for a reduction in protein with more carbs, you aren’t doing your health any favors. 

Substitutes are everywhere in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, but be very careful of the ingredients.  Large amounts of soy are pernicious, as the Taoists discovered long ago, and many other additives can make substitute foods downright bad for you.  Going in, you need to be conscious of every aspect of your nutritional plan, and the more you can do outside the vegetarian-specific section of the grocery store (or the bread section or the pasta section) the better off you’ll be.  Expert guidance and awareness of your individual nutritional type (one size certainly doesn’t fit all) is recommended.

Most of us could do with eating less meat, and certainly the factory-farmed, hormone and antibiotic-fed varieties, but some of the thick rhetoric that attempts to paint moral vegetarianism as a cure for global food inequality deserves a sharp kick in the truth.  Some meat is and always has been a key efficiency in food production, as any traditional Chinese farmer with a pig in the yard will tell you.  There are always things that humans can’t digest that animals can turn into protein and fertilizer.  Animals make otherwise-unlivable climates livable and act as a nutrient recycling system in organic farming economies.  Moral vegetarianism will have to stand on its own.


We’ve probably flogged this horse to death by now, but if meat is a significant part of your diet and you live in North America, chances are you’re taking in a lot of hormones and antibiotics that were given to the poor beasts, and that they were raised indoors with a minimum of movement and living on corn or soy products rather than their natural diet of forage.  That means that they are starting with nutritional deficiencies which they then pass on to you.  The antibiotics are there to keep them alive while malnourished and confined long enough to make it to your table.  Hungry yet?

Similarly, non-organic produce is grown from nutrient-depleted soil and sustained only by artificial fertilizers, which may be enough to grow the plant, but not to give it a healthy vitamin and mineral content.

If you’re of the food activist persuasion, this is the key pressure point.   All this said, be sure to do your research and balance your budgets – organic food is not always cheap, and not everything labelled organic is created equal.


Balancing for You

 Here’s a quick video from Dr. Joseph Mercola with a few suggestions about how to navigate the diet / nutrition maze and find what’s right for YOU:



How you build your diet depends on a number of factors- your nutritional type, your native (and adoptive) climate and your dietary goals.

If you want to lose weight, calorie-counting and low-carb diets do work in the short term, but the long term question for most people is “How can I find a healthy, balanced diet that keeps me at a healthy weight and that I can live with in the long term?”  (And that’s not even broaching the subject of the emotional component so frequent in weight problems).

The answer of course will vary from person to person, and chances are you won’t find the perfect formula in a book.  But that’s why starting from general principles and working toward the specific is so helpful.  Let’s recap:

  • Eating local and eating seasonally are good ideas, within reason
  • Organic food and especially organic, free-range, hormone and antibiotic-free meat is a good idea.  Reducing factory farmed, chemically contaminated meat is a good idea, as is fresh organic local produce in the summer
  • Whole, non-processed foods, and foods processed in non-pernicious ways are encouraged; packaged foods are discouraged
  • Raw fruits and vegetables are good for you (what a surprise)
  • Reduce (or eliminate) grain intake, and move toward whole grain (or gluten-free) sources
  • Be smart with your fat sources
  • Reduce refined sugar, sodium, cholesterol, etc.- we’ve covered all this before


By following these simple steps, you:

  • boost your immune system,
  • reduce your vulnerability to chronic disease and improve your health and vitality

…if you’re eating appropriately for your nutritional type and balancing your caloric intake with your lifestyle, that is.

If you live in a Western country, chances are your government publishes a nutritional guide of some sort.  Ignore it completely!  If it’s anything like the Canada Food Guide, it was written by the agribusiness lobbies, includes too much carbohydrate, dairy and protein and not enough fruit and vegetables.  There is no substitute for educating yourself and experimenting to find a diet that is right for you.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger








Take Charge of Your Health-Immunity-Longevity NOW

My wife and I recently had dinner with an old friend from out of town, a middle aged guy who, on the outside, looks healthy enough. Turns out he wants to drop about 20 pounds, so we asked him what he’s doing about it. He said, “I’m doing a lot of walking, but for some reason I’m not dropping any weight.”

Well, that was my first clue, so I asked him what he eats… and that’s when it all came out – junk food, too many carbs of the worst kind and absolutely no regard for food combining. Hardly a surprise, alas…

He was actually proud of his recent switch from regular Pepsi to diet Pepsi! It’s enough to make a health coach drive his head into the nearest two-by-four 😉

Anyway, given our short time together and where he was at, there wasn’t a lot we could do. My wife taught him how to maximize the weight loss from his walking and gave him a diet that will almost certainly get him to his goal of losing those 20 pounds.


…to focus narrowly on “losing weight”, rather than on your overall health and immunity. And that’s especially the case if you’re looking to lose less than 50 pounds or so. The ironclad law here is this: Focus on your overall health and immunity first, and only then worry about the rest.

The most common stupidity I run into is that people haven’t a clue about the exercise they need most. Our friend is typical – he thought that by going for a walk every day he had covered his bases. And then you get other people who only run or only lift some weights or only swim. Why’s that a problem?

Well, the Taoist longevity masters, who figured outhow to RELIABLY GET YOU PAST YOUR 100TH BIRTHDAY IN GREAT HEALTH, knew the ONLY approach to exercise that really works. They knew about the “7 Deadly Spirals of Disease” and how to avoid them all. And they knew that just “staying active” and getting conventional exercise didn’t cut it.

And here’s the system they came up with:

It has worked for them for the last 15 centuries or so and it can work for you. This is the cornerstone of their health-immunity-longevity system.

And here’s the GOOD NEWS: If you grab a copy this week, we’ll send you a FIFTY DOLLAR rebate off the posted price. So don’t wait. Learn the most important facts and take charge of your own health, immunity and longevity today.

Or you may want to give it as a gift to someone who,like our friend above, is on the wrong track at the moment. Just because our friend and millions like him are on the wrong track doesn’t mean you have to be!

To your health!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger
Warrior Coaching International – transforming your mind, body and spirit into SOLID STEEL……wrapped in cotton 😉

Qi Gong Exercises: Which Ones Should I Practice?

“Which Qi Gong exercises should I practice?” I can’t tell you how often I get this question!

However, after more than 3 decades researching and practicing the ancient world’s top methods of spiritual development, health maintenance and martial arts, I’m convinced you have to know what results you personally want to see before you can answer this question. For purposes of this article, I’ll assume your primary interest is in enjoying superior health and longevity, feeling strongly energized every day and achieving a deep sense of inner peace. So if that describes you, read on…

1. What Qi Gong CAN Do For Your

As you may already know, various Qi Gong methods – and there are thousands – were developed mainly with 4 different purposes: 1. to improve your health and fitness, 2. to improve your spiritual life, 3. to improve your martial combat skills and 4. to train you to heal others.

And they use a huge variety of methods, including various breathing techniques, postures, movement, percussion, massage, visualization and much more. Broadly speaking, though, if we get down to basics and talk about the immediate benefits Qi Gong was designed to offer, we get this:

– Improve your circulation of Qi, blood, lymph fluid and spinal fluid
– Detoxify your organs, tissues, blood, bone marrow and joints
– Fill your tissues with healthy Qi
– Clear out blockages in your 12 energy meridians and fill your 8 “Extraordinary Vessels” with healthy Qi
– Reunify your mind and body in order to return you to your “natural state”

2. Sounds Wonderful! But How?

There are thousands of distinct Qi Gong practices out there and no real standardization, so for the newbie to separate the wheat from the chaff is nearly impossible. It took me a great many years to do it and during that time I ran into all kinds of Qi Gong practices, literally from the sublime to the ridiculous. Lots of instructors are teaching partial or incomplete systems out of ignorance. A very few teach things that are downright dangerous. And it’s important to understand that this isn’t just a North American problem; the same thing happens even today in China itself.

Simply put, there are 5 classic Qi Gong systems that deliver the greatest possible health benefits and can be learned by anyone with the desire and commitment. Here’s a list of these 5 systems and what they do:

The Self-Massage Set (Promotes Qi, blood and lymph circulation)
Muscle-Tendon Changing (Detoxifies soft tissues and joints, building extraordinary toughness)
Bone Marrow Cleansing (Detoxifies bone marrow, blood and builds bone density)
Iron Shirt (Detoxifies organs and fasciae, filling them with Qi)
Energy Circulation (the Micro-Cosmic Orbit – Clears the body’s primary energy circulation pathway, regarded as essential for longevity)

3. How Long Do I Have to Practice Every Day?

Yes, we’re all in a time crunch! Fortunately, practicing all 5 over the course of a week doesn’t take a lot of time. One round of each of these takes only 5-15 minutes, and some of these systems can be broken down into their constituent parts and practiced at odd moments throughout the day to give you greater energy, clarity and focus. So time is not a serious issue with Qi Gong practice. The important thing is to set up your practice schedule and stick to it, whatever it is.

Naturally, there’s a learning curve in the beginning, but that quickly disappears as you gain confidence in your own practice.

To learn more about these 5 critical Qi Gong systems, you can go to:


~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Secrets of Longevity and Anti-Aging: Qi Gong Healing Exercises of the Taoist “Immortals”

In over 3 decades of researching and practicing the ancient world’s top systems of spiritual life, health maintenance and martial arts, one of the more interesting questions that I’ve had the privilege of unraveling is the secrets of longevity and anti-aging.

Naturally, the older I get, the more interesting it becomes!

1. Taoist Longevity “Stats”

There’s no doubt that the most advanced longevity / anti-aging science ever developed in the ancient world comes from Chinese Taoist tradition. Although no hard and fast “statistics” in the modern sense have been preserved, it’s quite certain that Taoists developed a holistic approach to longevity that regularly and predictably allowed its practitioners to sail past their 100th birthdays in great health.

The mysterious case of Li Ching Yun, who passed away in the mid-1930s at the reputed age of 250 is a case in point. The Chinese Government had sent Li congratulatory telegrams every 50 years since he turned 100. Could they have made a mistake? Possibly. But even if the authorities were off in their calculations by a full century, Li Ching Yun would still have been an outstanding testimonial for the science of longevity.

2. Taoist Longevity Secrets

This naturally gives rise to the question of what exactly brings about this extraordinary and predictable longevity we see in Taoist practitioners. Is it their diet? Is it their meditation-induced calm? While these may be important contributing factors, they really don’t explain much. After all, the often wandering life-style of Taoists throughout history is not the basis for a stable and predictable diet. And if meditation were the key, we’d expect to see consistent longevity among Japanese Zen masters and Tibetan Lamas, but we definitely do not.

So what did the Taoists do that others didn’t? The only factor left is the careful and detailed cultivation of the Qi or life-force. While it’s true that you find Qi Gong or “energy exercises” also in Chinese Buddhist tradition, with some roots in India and Tibet, it was clearly in Taoist circles that Qi Gong underwent its highest development and was fully integrated into a deliberate system of longevity and anti-aging.

Once you’ve learned about the 7 spirals of disease that develop in every person (you can use the reference link below to do so), you’ll realize that no matter how beneficial a good diet and consistent meditation are, neither one will prevent or reverse these disease spirals. Only proper energy work can do that.

3. Circulating and Refining Your Qi for Health and Longevity

What we now call Qi Gong or “energy skill” is a huge family of exercises that’s grown up over the past 2-3 millennia. Taoists consider it more varied and more effective than most of what passes for Indian Hatha Yoga and, in fact, sometimes express reservations about some of Yoga’s breathing and energy manipulation methods.

The big question for me decades ago as a complete newbie to this was, “what should I practice?” Eventually I realized that not all of what passed for Qi Gong is either authentic or useful. I’ve been taught some Qi Gong methods by people who had clearly not received the “whole enchilada” and were missing vital aspects to their exercises. Other systems claim to produce this or that benefit when it simply isn’t true. The existence of so many mediocre systems and so many systems using the same venerable names makes it well-nigh impossible for the uninitiated to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Then, of course, there are advanced systems you can’t possibly learn without mastering the basics.

4. So, What Qi Gong Will Get Me to 100 in Great Health?

Sorting out all this took me years and years. In the end, though, I verified there are 5 Qi Gong systems that are critically important, both because of their incredible health benefits and because you can’t progress further without them. And they are:

The Self-Massage Set
Muscle-Tendon Changing
Bone Marrow Cleansing
Iron Shirt
Energy Circulation (the Micro-Cosmic Orbit)

Of course, there are numerous versions of each, and not all are equally effective. Some are plain fraudulent. Others are artificially and needlessly complex. And a lot has to do with exactly how you perform the exercises. Do them right and you’ll enjoy great health. Do them wrong and you’re just waving your arms.

So if you’re seriously interested in cultivating longevity and enjoying suppleness of body and mind into deep old age, these are the 5 Qi Gong systems that deserve your attention. To learn more about how these systems work and how they reverse the 7 spirals of disease, you can visit the link below.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger